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Slump in fish sales, joblessness haunt Guimaras

October 29, 2006

By Nestor P. Burgos Jr.
Inquirer, Oct. 29, 2006

JORDAN, Guimaras – Residents of Guimaras province are reeling from joblessness and income loss after the August oil spill devastated their livelihood and the local economy, according to a report of a multi-agency team that assessed the impact of the disaster.

The worst hit are residents of coastal villages engaged in fishing, gleaning, beach resort operation, motorized banca (outrigger canoe) operation, salt-making and agriculture, said the 126-page report released on October 26 by the provincial government.

More than half, or 52, of the 98 barangays (villages) of the provinces were directly affected by the oil spill and have oil sludge near the shore or in their coastal waters. The remaining 46 barangays were considered to be indirectly affected.

The report said 69,162 individuals or 46 percent of the province’s population of 151,194 have been directly affected by the oil spill.

The oil spill heavily affected three of the five towns of the province: Nueva Valencia, Sibunag and San Lorenzo. Jordan and Buenavista were less affected but felt the impact of the loss of market confidence in fishery products from Guimaras waters.

The report said that 2,439 fishers who were previously earning an average of P239 to P300 per day were displaced due to the effects of the oil spill on their fish catch, seaweeds and milk fish production.

(For the full story, click Slump.)

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